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The Silly Season is upon us

The silly season, or 'cucumber' season in local slang, is quite a concept in Norway, where the country almost shuts down for a month or two during summertime. This year, it was Dagbladet's turn to kick of the silly 'cucumber' season - which they did with an insightful article on why growing up in the countryside is better than growing up in Oslo (link via Vampus). The only minor problem with the article was that the sample was somewhat less than representative given that all the respondents were what Norwegian city dwellers often classify as peasants (i.e. had grown up in the countryside). Okay, we do have an overabundance of peasants in this country, but the sample does make the articles' conclusion so predictable that it's hardly worth mentioning (Countryside 10 – Oslo 0).

At the moment, most Norwegians are off on holiday somewhere, most likely to a seaside 'hytte' or boat. Norway shuts down in July: the gyms close earlier, the tube runs less frequently and most of the people downtown Oslo are foreigners. Of course, as a journalist you're faced with the problem that most of the heads you would like to talk to, such as the rulers of the country, union representatives and business leaders, probably are off on a holiday somewhere as well - though I refuse to believe that all 'native Oslonians' are out of town...

Like everything in Norway there is such a massive consensus surrounding what time of the year to take your holiday that you do feel like a bit of a weirdo for working through the summer. Tempted by the great weather last week, I tried the rather creative solution of bringing a manuscript I'm copy editing to the beach for two days, but, perhaps predictably, it turned out to be a bit too creative: blistering sun, sea breeze, screaming kids and sand sticking to everything – I'm forced to admit it was not the most conducive environment to get the job done in, and only wishful thinking could have made me believe it would be.

But oh, how peaceful and inviting it looks


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